General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

My team and I hit the ground running in January, and I am excited and invigorated for what 2024 has to hold! Before we move forward, I would like to take a moment to reflect on all the work we accomplished in 2023.

Keep reading for a high-level recap of everything my team and I accomplished in 2023, including passing 23 bills into law – 23 in ‘23!! – attending 300+ community events, and corresponding with hundreds of constituents regarding policy recommendations, state programs, meeting requests, and more. 2023 was the biggest year yet for my office in terms of numbers. We look forward to continuing our comprehensive public services in 2024. I have also included a list of laws I supported that took effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Please take a look.

In January, the General Assembly held its first week of the Spring Legislative Session in Springfield. As I return for a busy session schedule, I would like to share my top legislative priorities and what you can expect over the next few months.

First, I am continuing to champion further action to stop book banning in Illinois in its entirety. Last year, we passed a law that penalizes book banning in public libraries. My legislation will expand these penalties to end book banning in school classrooms and class curriculum. No school board should have the power to ban books because they discuss race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or the biography of a LGBTQ+ person.

Second, I am continuing the push for a permanent $700 Child Tax Credit in Illinois through my bill, Senate Bill 1444. I recently spoke to WBEZ Chicago about the bill in an article linked here. Keep an eye out for more communications where I will speak more in depth on the importance of this initiative. Enacting a permanent child tax credit of this scale would bring long overdue economic relief to more than 1 million households and cut child poverty in Illinois by 8 percent and contribute to nearly $1.5 billion in economic output.

Alongside the Child Tax Credit and ending book bans in schools, I will keep pushing for housing solutions and greater access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Housing and healthcare are the two areas I and my district office staff receive questions and cases about the most. From your stories and messages, we know we have to keep pushing hard to ensure affordable housing and quality healthcare is available for everyone in our community. I will also continue to champion transportation legislation, recently filing legislation that would require all Illinois rail transit systems to report annually on all safety improvements recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board both online and in a report to the General Assembly. I also have filed a bill to move to free public transit for very low-income households. More to come on these.

I recently met with the new CEO of Swedish Hospital, Jonathan Lind, and their Chief Medical Officer, Bruce McNulty to continue our open line of communication. I greatly appreciate their partnership as we work together in serving all individuals and families on the far north side with health care that is culturally competent, accessible, and approaches mental, behavioral, and physical health as one in the same.

Finally, I have some more district-related news. First, the 7th District Small Business Restoration Grant application is still live! The online application is linked here. We were able to extend the deadline until Friday, February 16th at 5:00pm CST. If you are a small business owner, please apply ASAP!

Secondly, if you ever want to invite me to an event or schedule a meeting with me, please make use of the new scheduling request form on my website linked here. Once you fill out the form, you can expect someone from my district of Springfield office to reach out within 2-3 business days.

That’s all from me! Please read the rest of this newsletter for my detailed 2023 Year in Review, news about a Valentine’s Day card drive I am hosting, pictures from 7SBRG outreach, community resources, and so much more! As always, you can reach my office through my website or by calling 773-769-1717.





Mike Simmons
State Senator | 7th District

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